An addictive alternative to your usual salsa, Peruvian Ají Verde Recipe gets its gorgeous green hue from cilantro, jalapeño, huacatay paste (Peruvian black mint), and scallion. The flavors meld together with a bit of lime juice, olive oil, mayo, and cotija (or parmesan) in a creamy sauce that’s sure to be a new favorite!
This is the companion recipe to the Baked Peruvian Style Meatballs with Ají Verde I posted a few days ago! This somewhat spicy, salty, savory, herbal sauce is so creamy and delicious… and guess what? It’s super quick and easy to make!
If you have followed Beyond Mere Sustenance for any length of time, you probably know of my love affair with Peru. This classic Peruvian ají verde is one of many that may appear on your table if you ask your server for “ají.” Occasionally a menu might indicate a companion sauce, but not typically. I guess that’s part of the fun? 😀
About Peruvian Ají Verde
This ají requires
IMHO 2 less-than-common ingredients: Ají amarillo paste and huacatay (black mint) paste. Say what? Don’t get concerned quite yet…
Latin foods markets in the US and abroad have finally begun carrying Peruvian ingredients. It took them long enough. Peruvian cooking is definitely “trending,” and it’s about time they start to stock some of these fabulous ingredients. Additionally, you can find ají amarillo paste, huacatay, and a mixed sampler that also includes ají panca.
Making Peruvian Ají Verde
This really is a quick (and very simple) recipe once you’ve gathered the ingredients… no cooking! Simply wash a bunch of cilantro, cut the stems at the base of the leaves, and add it and all the other ingredients to your food processor. Pulse until smooth.
So what are you waiting for? This ají is so versatile: You’ll love it on simple roasted chicken or grilled meats, as a dip for fried yucca, roasted potatoes, even chips (if you’re so inclined). To make a party of it all, serve my Fermented Peruvian Red Pepper Salsa alongside.
With the holidays fast upon us, I think you’ll agree, this is one condiment that you’ll want to add to your “repertoire!” Dump the ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth. It’ll keep for days in the refrigerator, but I’m guessing it won’t last that long…
- 1 bunch cilantro, cut at the base of the leaves (fine stems are okay)
- 1/2 to 2 jalapeños, stemmed and seeded, cut in chunks
- 2 scallions, green parts only, cut in 2" pieces
- 2 tablespoons cotija (feta is a good substitute) cut in chunks
- 1 tablespoon ají amarillo paste (more or less to taste)
- 2 teaspoons huacatay paste
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon white wine (or other mild) vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a large food processor.
- Pulse until smooth.
- Taste for seasoning and texture. (Add salt if necessary. The cheese is salty) Add a bit more olive oil for a thinner consistency.
Keeps in the refrigerator for several days.
I use a good olive oil mayonnaise or one I make myself. This is where most of the calories come from. I may try substituting Greek yogurt (as I've done in other recipes) to see how it works out!
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 35 calories per tablespoon +/-; 0 g protein; 1 g carbohydrates; 3 g fat. Note: Based on a 1 1/4 cup batch and about 20 tablespoons. This is just a reference!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 +/- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 35 Total Fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 1g Protein: 0g